Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Jute Mill Song

Scottish Song By Mary Brooksbank

Most of the songs written by Mary Brooksbank were about the life of the working-class mill workers of Dundee, mostly women.

She called these songs "Mill Songs". They were full of detail and sympathy for the struggle with which these hard-working, poorly paid women were engaged just to feed and care for their families.

This is her most famous song called "Jute Mill Song" or "Oh Dear Me".

There is also a Scottish country dance called Shiftin' Bobbins.


The Jute Mill Song By Mary Brooksbank

Oh dear me the mills gaein fast,
And the pair wee shifters canna get nae rest;
Shiftin bobbins, coorse and fine,
They fairly mak ye wark for your ten and nine.

Oh dear me I wish the day wis done,
Rinnin up an doun the pass is nae fun;
Shiftin, piecin, spinnin - warp, weft and twine,
Tae feed an claith ma bairnies affen ten and nine.

Chorus
Oh dear me the mills gaein fast,
And the pair wee shifters canna get nae rest;
Shiftin bobbins coorse and fine,
They fairly mak ye wark for your ten and nine.

O dear me, the warld's ill divided,
Them that works the hardest are the least provided;
But I maun bide contented, dark days or fine,
There's no much pleisure livin affen ten and nine.

Chorus


The Jute Mill Song - Song Video

The Jute Mill Song - YouTube Video
Ring Spinning Machine Image
Ring Spinning Machine In The 1920s


The Online Scots Dictionary Translate Scots To English.
Dance Information licensed under this Creative Commons Licence.
Text from this original Mary Brooksbank article on Wikisource.
Image Copyright Wilhelm Carlgren.

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